Simulation Game of the Year 2017: Guild of Dungeoneering: Ice Cream Headaches28 Dec 2017 4
Getting a tie is always possible in a voting system, but getting a three-way split? This award should probably be prefaced by stating that the Guild of Dungeoneering expansion, Prison Architect’s mobile port AND Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 all got the exact same number of votes.
Looking at the staff voting doesn’t help, because literally none of them voted for the same top three games that you guys did, so the only course of action was to look at the scores – since Ice Cream Headaches was the only one to get 5-stars, it gazumps the top prize. A bit arbitrary, but it seems Simulation games were on top form this year!
Again, because this was one of Mark’s and he wasn’t able to contribute this year, we’ll leave you with his thoughts from the review we did back in March:
The original release was released with marginal stability issues, and Ice Cream Headaches only goes to strengthen this foundation, as with over seven hours playing time, the game has yet to crash on me, and running any additional apps showed no slowdown.
This expansion feels like an attempt to address two issues: a lack of levels, and marginally thin gameplay. Gambrinous have accomplished the former and have started to fill in the (minimal) cracks for the latter. The fabulous thing about all of this extra content is that it’s an entirely free update, and whether you are a fan of some of the new features or not, nothing added breaks the original core gameplay. For anyone who is late to the party, the price of the app increases with each expansion – so you should get on board before another ten expansions are added (which I would highly approve of).
Runners Up: Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 & Prison Architect
Just missing out on the top spots, these two games went down very well with both the reviewers, and you guys, beating off some fierce competition.
Being a ‘Manager’ type game in the same vein as Football Manager (only for Motorsports), you’d think that they’d have been more Motorspot Manager titles on mobile by now, but MMM2 represents Playsport’s second outing onto mobile devices. As Mark points out in his review:
Even after ten hours I still haven’t finished the game, and there’s a constant curiosity to craft new parts, hire new engineers, train new drivers, that will keep you coming back to form the perfect team. This is seriously addictive stuff. Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 will always try to throw the occasional wrench at you that will cost money and/or stats, but when has anything in life ever been simple, eh?
iOS Universal Store Link
Google Play Store Link
Meanwhile, Introversion’s highly successful Prison Architect seemed like a no-brainer for mobile devices, although the partnership with PC strategy power-house Paradox Interactive was certainly unexpected.
While the business model didn’t follow the norms in terms of how it charged for content, the mobile port of this quirky Prison simulator impressed Nick with it’s adapted UI and the gameplay itself:
If you enjoy simulation games and the prison subject matter interests you, Prison Architect is certainly worth checking out. The depth of options and strength of the simulation will appeal to fans of the genre, though the constant "now this, now this" pressure can be a bit much. The game does a good job of capturing some of the moral questions around the for-profit penal system as well. Grab and it and see what you think, Prison Architect's awesome free-trial option leaves little risk in doing so.
Staff Picks & Honourable Mentions
As we hinted at above, the staff voting was all over the place this year. There wasn’t much of a consensus, so our Honourable Mentions list includes games like the recently released Game Dev Tycoon (which got the most staff votes), RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic, and then Nick voted for Turmoil, which got exactly one vote in the user poll. I’m highly suspicious that may have been Nick himself.
In terms of the reader vote, Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander got the next most votes after the top three, so that definitely deserves a mention.
Congratulations to Introversion, Playsport and Gambrinous for some well deserved recognition! We hope to see more great things from you guys on mobile in 2018.
To keep track of all the winners and runner-up’s during the 2017 Awards, please see the 2017 Awards Index Page.